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North Texas soccer upset in C-USA semifinals; season likely over

North Texas soccer upset in C-USA semifinals; season likely over

North Texas senior forward Rachel Holden (16) sneaks the ball under a Marshall defender during a game on September 22. Holden has started every game she's played over the past four years for the Mean Green. Dylan Nadwodny

North Texas soccer upset in C-USA semifinals; season likely over
November 04
19:46 2016

In their fourth game of the season, 68 days ago, Mean Green soccer fell into a 2-0 hole to Abilene Christian University at home just 10 minutes after kickoff. In response, North Texas flipped a switch and scored three goals in the next 45 minutes, winning the game 3-2 to improve to 4-0.

Now, 1,067 miles away, in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament against Florida Atlantic University (12-7-2, 6-3-1), the team faced the same predicament.

Only this time, the outcome was not the same.

After falling behind 2-0, the Mean Green (15-5-1, 9-1) pressed forward and scored two goals in the following 20 minutes to even the game at two before the Owls put the dagger in North Texas’ season via a header in the 81st minute.

North Texas lost to Florida Atlantic 3-2 Friday afternoon, and in all likelihood, ended its season.

“They’re the regular season champs for a reason,” assistant coach Daniel Dobson said. “After they went down two, they could have easily put their heads down but instead they fought like the champions they are.”

Technically, there is still a chance for the Mean Green to receive an NCAA tournament berth, but their odds decreased significantly with Friday’s loss.

North Texas struggled in the first halves of both its tournament games, especially offensively, and a lot of it had to do with the opponent’s play and scouting.

“I think defenses really keyed on our forwards and marked them up tight,” Dobson said. “They’ve watched a lot of film and they know how dangerous they can be.”

While this was most likely the final game for this year’s team, and the last game in green for the seniors, they are definitely proud of what they accomplished.

“The feeling at the beginning of the year was like ‘This team is not going to do as well as last year’s team did,’” senior midfielder Marchelle Davis said. “So one thing that I will remember the most is how we [heard] all of those people talking negative about us and we overcame that to become regular season champions.”

Even though this squad will probably not make it to the NCAA tournament, no one believes it will diminish what they have accomplished.

“I think with the comparisons to last year’s team, we wanted to be just as good,” sophomore defender Carissa Sanders said. “I think that was a huge motivation for us.”

The loss came as a surprise to some in C-USA, especially since North Texas was the No. 1 seed. Despite the upset and not winning the tournament title, Dobson said he will always remember this team as one thing in particular.

“Champions,” Dobson said. “[The loss] is unfortunate, but all of these girls are champions.”

Featured Image: North Texas senior forward Rachel Holden (16) sneaks the ball under a Marshall defender during a game on September 22. Holden has started every game she’s played over the past four years for the Mean Green. Dylan Nadwodny

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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